Katadyn Vario Microfilter
I have owned the Vario for 3 years, taking it into elk, and deer camp and only using it to get water. It goes hiking and backpacking with me as well as salmon and steelhead fishing. I am hard on my gear and put things to a true test. The Vario has been the only thing in my pack that has surpassed all. I have beat the tar out of this thing and still it works. As long as you drain and clean it before storing it, this will be the best investment you make.
November 30, 2013
Poor construction quality and design. Pump only lasted 2 outings. Worked just fine on a backpacking trip out to a remote glacier for recreational camping. Second trip was a hunting trip into remote wilderness on ATV's in 32-40°F temperatures. Pump checked out just fine while preparing and packing gear. Upon removing the pump/filter from my bag at camp, found that the hose barb for the inlet was broken off. Unfortunately, the design of this pump has a plastic inlet barb glued to the side of the pump body where it sticks straight out. Apparently it doesn't take much to break that plastic fitting right off the pump, rendering it garbage. There is no way to repair or jimmy-rig the pump without the ability to connect an inlet hose. Had to resort to boiling all of our water for our 5-day hunting trip.
After checking out the various other filters down at the local sporting goods store, I'll be replacing this pump with an MSR MiniWater which is clearly built better and has protected hose fittings on it.
If you have a Vario pump, do yourself a favor and get a padded hard case to protect it!
September 25, 2012
worth the price
I recently purchased one of these for a 5 day hunting trip, and it worked marvelously! Super easy to pump, fast fill rate, not too bulky and fits in my field pack. Smaller than my bino's, water tastes great. My hunting partner even commented that the water tasted better than his bottled water service back home! This purifier will never leave my pack
August 26, 2012
I bought this filter, for my first Boundary Waters trip this summer. Just got back, and was not happy with the filter. Was out in the woods for 6 days, and by day three was reduced to boiling water, and using coffee filters.
The pump lost all suction, and water was springing from every possible orifice. I figured it had to be the filter, but since the rated life was 500 gallons on the micro filter, I decided to save weight and leave my spare at base camp. Big Mistake. If you plan on using this filter, make sure you bring many replacement filters.
This was probably some of the cleanest possible water you could get, and the rated life on the filters was laughably bad. If I got 10% of of the life I would be surprised.
July 7, 2012